Tuesday, 4 Aug 2020

Sustainability is for fools!

We are living in a world of foolishness — a world of make-believe. Where we believe the wand of a fairy godmother can make things utopic without thinking what the stroke of midnight could do. Where everything is perfect in one’s own bubble and everything outside of it will automatically take care of itself. Much like the magical Cinderella’s glass slipper that lures us into believing everything is all right.

We, in the Western, developed world are living a fairly comfortable life. Clean air, clean water (well, mostly), uninterrupted power supply, garbage that takes care of itself. Really, what have we to worry about? Mother Nature has been generous to us, why should we concern ourselves about the rest of the world? Why should companies spend millions of dollars in cleaning up their operations and greening their supply chain, when it is perfectly possible that Nature is resilient enough and people are tough enough to withstand any change?

Interestingly, I see in India a similar apathy. My house is clean, how do I care where the garbage goes, even if it is to the next street corner. We are resistant to pollution — our bodies are tough. Yes, cars have emissions, but how can I not own at least three cars? Basic necessity. Too much population — we can never get better.

Sustainability is for fools. Fools like me — and you — who still believe in a utopic world where economic development, environment and social fabric are weaved together in an intricate balance that has to be handled very delicately. It is for those people and organizations who believe that people working for them deserve better living conditions, no matter which part of the world they are located. It is for every citizen who questions where their water is coming from and where their waste is going. For every individual who believes we can harness the energy of nature without destroying it. For every person who believes it is their responsibility to leave a better world for their children.

Yes, we are fools…but not foolish. Not foolish enough to believe that a wave of the magic wand will help us achieve this utopic world. It is hard work. And it is up to us — every single individual to do their part to make the Earth more habitable for ourselves, for generations to come. It is up to every organization / company to ensure clean operations and sustainable practices within and across their supply chains. It is up to every government to make hard decisions and sound policies that have a positive impact on the world. Thank you, to all those people and organisations who are mindful of their footprint, for making those hard decisions and standing by your environmental legacy.

Maybe that glass slipper is not so far away after all!

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